Soil Aeration Benefits And Tips
When most homeowners think about lawn care, they often turn to seed and fertilizer to revitalize a yard. However, those landscaping materials won’t help your property if the soil is in poor condition. If your lawn is patchy, thatched or dead, it could be in need of soil aeration — a process that breaks up tough clumps of dirt to insert more air into the earth. Read on to explore the methods and benefits of soil aeration.
When Does Soil Need To Be Aerated?
Because it is covered with grass, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if your soil needs some TLC. Soil should be aerated when it becomes too compacted to allow for healthy plant growth. Here are some obvious warning signs to watch for when taking care of your lawn:
- Visible thatches
- Consistently dry areas that cannot seem to retain water
- A spongy feel when you walk on the grass
In addition to these red flags, there are certain circumstances in which your lawn would typically require aeration. Yards that were established with sod should be aerated because the layers of dirt need to be broken and mixed together. Otherwise, you might experience drainage issues.
Additionally, lawns that were put in over new construction often need aerating because of the compaction that occurs during the building process. Similarly, if the lawn is heavily used by children or animals, the soil is likely compressed and should be aerated.
Soil Aeration Benefits
When soil is compacted, water, air and fertilizer are unable to penetrate into the earth. As a result, trees and shrubs may not get the nutrients they need to thrive; in some cases, they can die because they don’t have enough water or nourishment from the soil.
Furthermore, plants and grass are more likely to suffer from heat stress when grown in compacted soil. Increasing the water supply is not a sufficient solution to combat drought and heat stress; you have to lighten the texture of the dirt. Not only can this help your yard look better, but it can also allow the soil and plants to absorb more water, improving both drainage issues and heat stress.
When the soil is no longer compacted, plants can put down deeper roots. As a result, they’re better able to use water and fertilizer efficiently — allowing you to save money on utilities and gardening supplies. If you’ve been dreaming of a lush, green lawn and a healthy garden, aeration could help you achieve it.
Lawn Aeration Guide
To aerate a lawn, insert an aeration tool or auger into the grass and pull up. You’ll remove a two- to three-inch-deep plug of grass and soil, leaving a small hole in its place. The lawn should have a dimpled effect once you’ve finished, with plugs spaced about every three to five inches.
Aerating a yard isn’t necessarily intuitive. Here are some aeration tips to help you with the process:
- Start in the spring when the weather is cool and the grass is just starting to grow.
- Make sure you have the right equipment, such as an auger to make the job easier.
- Try aerating after a rainstorm. When the ground is wet, you should be able to push through dried grass and thatch with less effort.
- After aeration, continue to water and fertilize your grass as you normally would. As the lawn recovers, it should be healthier and more vibrant.
Don’t waste too much time and money watering your lawn and spreading fertilizer, especially if the problem could be deep in the soil. Try aerating your yard and you should see fantastic results!
For more lawn aeration tips or advice on using an auger, contact the experts at Power Planter.